If all else fails, you can use a hacksaw and files to make the T-nut. That is how I made mine for my Atlas TH42, using the supplied blank that came with my AXA-clone QCTP. It's a nice sliding fit, which took about 4 hours to do. At the time, I did not have a milling machine, power bandsaw, or even an accessible vise. I did use several files, and a carbide scriber to mark both ends of the blank, and a straightedge to connect the marks to guide the hacksaw. Left about 1/16" of waste to file off, and took my time and tried the fit repeatedly. It is slow, but it works well. Remember that the folks who invented machine tools made them with hammers, chisels, hacksaws, and files. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.212228 has Burghardt's Machine Tool Operation, volume 1, with chapters on the lathe, and benchwork. Benchwork is what they called making stuff with hand tools. You can also find his volume 2 here: https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.126411 It covers most of the other machines.
Not saying you can't use the tools and machines you have, just that you can do it a number of ways.
As a further comment, don't let what you don't have limit you, figure out how to do what you need to do with what you do have. A Bridgeport with DRO's, a Kurt Vise, and solid-carbide tooling is nice, and a pretty easy and fast way to make a T-nut. But you can do it almost as easily on a cheap mini-mill with HSS tooling and a couple of improvised hold-downs. Or a lathe with an improvised milling attachment. You could even do it without a hacksaw, just by filing. Getting what you need is the point, not how you get it. And sometimes, it's easier and faster to use the file instead of setting up the milling machine!
Back in the history of the USA, there was a guy who was a blacksmith. He made and sold multi-shot rifles in 1830. In a smithy. Rifles capable of firing from five to 25 rounds without reloading. His name was Jonathan Browning, and his rifles were popular. If that name sounds sort of familiar, one of his sons was John Moses Browning. With all the stuff we have available now, you have no freaking excuse! when Jonathans son built his first firearm at age 11, he told him, "With all you have available here, you should have done much better!"
Now get busy and make some stuff!
I totally agree. I do have a mill and carbide tooling but at one time I did not. When somebody told me about making a T nut like this (on the lathe) I had to share it. My YouTube channel is all about alternate method, making tools and machines and doing big stuff with little machines. Check it out. Thanks!
At the time, my shop was actually storage, mostly. I had a bench vise mounted on a very light workbench, but I could not reach it, either. So I set to with the hacksaw and files, and a small steel rule and carbide tipped scriber. That used up Friday evening, and a bit of Saturday. Then I made a rocker from a piece of 1/2" keystock, again using the files. My dad taught me to use a file, and I have a great fondness for them. Lantern tool posts are better than nothing, and for some things, they're really good. Like reaching the outside of stock near the capacity of the lathe. QCTP's are also really good, for some things. Any well-equipped lathe should have both. Particularly if you know you're going to pushing the capacity of the lathe, and I was pretty sure that would be something I'm likely to be doing.
I've read extensively in the old literature about machinists, and the guys who invented the machine tools we often take for granted these days invented and built them with much simpler tools. I didn't feel the need to recreate what they did, but I did want to know how they went about it, in case I ever need to do such a thing. A little quality time with a file can, among other things, teach you to really respect those old guys, and to appreciate the fine things we have today! I've subscribed and liked, and I'll be following some of your adventures. Somehow, I have to figure out how to do that, and all the work I need to do around here, too. You have lots of neat projects!
Thanks for taking the time to communicate. Like you I love these old machines and I'm always amazed at how well they are made. No CNC. Just talent and a lot of work. In a few cases the older machines were much better and even logical. I have an old camel back drill press and the table is on dovetails like a mill. For the most part a round column on a drill press is ridiculous unless you need to move it out of the way. I put a square column on my other drill press. Anyway, thank again.
re post No 4.....
Standing here holding a micrometer, in front of a lathe, with both a horde of tools and 50+ years metalworking behind me, that I trace DIRECTLY to being inspired by the son, J.M. Browning. Years later, that was reinforced further, reading about Frank Pachmayr, and his creative bent.
I've recounted that bit of history countless times to others, including here at HMT.net, well as reflecting on it personally. All the other kids dreamed of fireman, police officer, doctor of whatever; do not recall what intrigued me before, but nothing changed since then.
I see comments below about 'less sophisticated' or aged machine tools and related tools.
I never felt hampered in using them.
Occasionally, an outsider will look unkindly on my equipment and instruments; he'll spout on about his latest whats-it, until I remind him his "brand new....." was made and measured with used equipment. Including those with tags stating "War Production Finish"!
...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...
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